The God Test is a Good Test
The God Test is a Good Test
James 1:2–4 (NIV) 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Trials and tests – they come to everyone at some point in their lives. The question is… Is God responsible for these challenging times in our lives? Religious tradition teaches that God uses trials/tests as a method of correction for wrong behavior. The Bible clarifies the subject quite clearly. The Word uses two different Greek words in the New Testament to describe tests. “Peirazo” means 1) “to try intentionally, with the purpose of discovering what good or evil, what power or weakness was in a person or thing 2) power or weakness – (predominately) means to put to test with intention and hope that one being tested will break down.” Generally this term is used when referring to the trials/tests that the enemy brings. Occasionally, however, this term was used in reference to God; but only to pinpoint a lack of power or weakness in a person. In John 6:5 this was the intent when Jesus asked Philip how they were going to feed the large crowd. The Message Bible states it this way… “he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people? He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do.” Jesus was not testing to see what good or evil was in Philip but to cause spiritual awareness of an area of weakness in him. His intent was to bring growth to Philip’s faith.
The second term “dokimazo” refers to “the act of testing someone or something for the purpose of approving it.” This is the term that is most often used when referring to a test/trial that God brings. An example of this might be if there was a special offering being taken at church and the Lord impressed on you to give a hundred dollars when you really didn’t think you had that sum of money to give. He is taking you out of your comfort zone, but the result of your obedience will bring you much reward (increase).
The devil tests with disease/tragedy/poverty. His purpose is to produce fear and failure and result in rebellion/sin. God tests us through His Word and through His Spirit. The purpose of God’s test is to mature us spiritually through obedience; the end result being that it produces faith and success in our lives.
What’s the best part of tests that come from God? If you fail them, you get as many “do-overs” as you need to pass them. With God you will always end up with an A+ for a grade, even if it takes a while!
James 1:2–4 (NLT)
2 Dear brothers and sisters,* when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
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